TeachersFirst's Resources on Racism and Discrimination

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As educators, it’s our duty to teach our students to respect people of all races, genders, orientations, and cultures, both in our classroom and in the outside world. Racism, sexism, and orientation discrimination can be difficult topics to broach in the classroom but are essential to discuss as students find their voices and form their understanding of the world. In this collection, we share resources about combatting racism, lesson plans about the human cost of discrimination, and additional activities to spark meaningful discussion and encourage students at all grade levels to treat all people with respect.

 

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Ten Teacher Recommendations in Facilitating Conversations About Race in the Classroom - H. Richard Milner IV

Grades
5 to 12
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Discussions of race and society in the classroom are difficult for many teachers. This article provides ten specific ideas that encourage, cultivate, and support race with students....more
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Discussions of race and society in the classroom are difficult for many teachers. This article provides ten specific ideas that encourage, cultivate, and support race with students. Although created with middle school and high school students in mind, this article is also adaptable to the elementary level.

tag(s): bias (15), civil rights (142), difficult conversations (37), professional development (268), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Include this article as part of your professional development activities within your grade level or building as a support for understanding best practices on how to address racial issues, bias, or any difficult conversations that arise in a classroom. One way to really focus on this topic is to discuss one of the ten specific ideas each month. As a staff, share situations where the idea worked well or discuss ways to continue building a supportive environment built upon the topic focus. If you use Microsoft products, create a collaborative document using OneNote, reviewed here, to share ideas and participate in online conversations. Google users may want to consider using Google Keep, reviewed here, as a collaborative tool.

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White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack - Peggy McIntosh

Grades
10 to 12
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This article from the National Seed Project discusses the concept of white privilege and identifies some of the daily effects of this privilege. Most notable in the article is the ...more
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This article from the National Seed Project discusses the concept of white privilege and identifies some of the daily effects of this privilege. Most notable in the article is the list of conditions the author defines as attached to skin color privilege compared to those based on class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location. In addition to the article, a series of notes for facilitators is included for presenters using My White Privilege Papers series.

tag(s): bias (15), character education (68), civil rights (142), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Include this article with others as part of your ongoing professional development about racism and bias. It is also practical to use with older students as part of lessons on racism. Make it easier for students to break down the information in the article through the collaborative use of Fiskkit, reviewed here. Upload the article to Fiskkit and share the link with students. Ask them to highlight areas of interest and add comments. Follow the author's advice and encourage students to draw on personal experiences as part of their discussions. One method for sharing experiences is through the use of short audio discussions using Synth, reviewed here. Think of Synth as an audio version of Twitter; users record up to 256 seconds of audio that work together to build powerful podcasts.

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'Interrupt The Systems': Robin DiAngelo On 'White Fragility' And Anti-Racism - Ari Shapiro/NPR

Grades
9 to 12
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NPR's Like Kit series shares this article and audio from a recent podcast featuring a discussion with author Robin DiAngelo. DiAngelo shares suggestions for white people with specific...more
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NPR's Like Kit series shares this article and audio from a recent podcast featuring a discussion with author Robin DiAngelo. DiAngelo shares suggestions for white people with specific ideas on how to reflect upon their racism. Other recommendations include tips on how to educate yourself by engaging in resources created by people of color. This article contains many links to supplemental information, including books and a 21-Day Habit Building Challenge.

tag(s): authors (113), bias (15), character education (68), civil rights (142), difficult conversations (37), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Include this article with your other resources to discuss racism, bias, or when addressing difficult conversations in the classroom. Use a curation tool like Padlet, reviewed here, to share and discuss articles, videos, and online information. As students research and learn more from other authors, help them organize information using SuperNoteCard, reviewed here. SuperNoteCard is a virtual notecard taking tool similar to the familiar 3X5 index cards used for notetaking by hand. Use notecards to keep a list of authors and articles, jot down big ideas, and compare suggestions for making positive changes.

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'Me And White Supremacy' Helps You Do The Work Of Dismantling Racism - Eric Deggans/NPR

Grades
9 to 12
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This article is part of the NPR Life Kit series that provides tips and advice for everyday problems from experts. Much of the article consists of an interview with Layla ...more
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This article is part of the NPR Life Kit series that provides tips and advice for everyday problems from experts. Much of the article consists of an interview with Layla Saad, an East African, Black Muslim author. It includes defining terms such as "white-centering" and "ally cookies" to help readers understand white privilege. Another focus of the article is using journals to develop a conscious awareness of behaviors and thought processes.

tag(s): bias (15), black history (79), cross cultural understanding (150), identity (21), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Include this article with your other materials when teaching about racism, bias, identiy, or cross-cultural understanding. The interviewee shares responses in the article by raising questions for individuals to consider and use for reflection. Ask groups of students to take different questions to discuss and respond to as part of your article's discussion. Extend learning by asking them to share their findings by creating concept maps using a tool such as mindmaps, reviewed here, or with a presentation using tool like Prezi, reviewed here. Consider using Wakelet, reviewed here, as a curation tool for collecting and sharing resources with students, and also as a presentation tool for students to share their learning with peers.

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'Not Racist' Is Not Enough: Putting In The Work To Be Anti-Racist - Eric Deggans/NPR

Grades
8 to 12
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This article from National Public Radio (NPR) is part of their Life Kit series that provides advice from experts on everyday problems. The discussion focuses on the topic of racism...more
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This article from National Public Radio (NPR) is part of their Life Kit series that provides advice from experts on everyday problems. The discussion focuses on the topic of racism and suggestions on how to be anti-racist. The author shares four tips to use as guidelines on personal behaviors at home, work, and everyday life.

tag(s): bias (15), black history (79), cross cultural understanding (150), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Include this article with your other materials when discussing racism and bias. Engage students in a collaborative discussion of this article and others using Fiskkit, reviewed here. Add a link to the article in Fiskitt, then share with students to add questions and comments as they discuss the article together online. To help students focus on the topic, consider providing a list of possible questions before reading the article. Extend learning by asking students to use graphic organizers such as a 4-Circle Venn Diagram Creator, reviewed here, to compare and contrast information. For example, ask students to explore different media forms such as television, social media, podcasts, and literature and compare different presentations of racism and bias.

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Whiteness Project: Millenials in Dallas, Texas - Whitney Dow

Grades
9 to 12
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The Whiteness Project features a series of interviews with millennials from Dallas, Texas. The short video interviews share their understanding of their whiteness. At the end of each...more
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The Whiteness Project features a series of interviews with millennials from Dallas, Texas. The short video interviews share their understanding of their whiteness. At the end of each interview, a statistic providing context is shared to encourage the viewing audience's self-reflection. View all of the statistics used on the site by selecting the data link at the top of the page.

tag(s): character education (68), civil rights (142), cross cultural understanding (150), cultures (116), difficult conversations (37), empathy (24), racism (58)

In the Classroom

The Whiteness Project provides a unique and interesting resource for introducing and discussing difficult topics in the classroom, including racism, prejudice, bias, and empathy. Share this site with students and provide them time to listen to some of the conversations and the provided statistics. Encourage students to choose one statistic as a starting point for additional research. For example, one piece of data shared is the number of adults who have two or more races in their background. This provides a starting point for researching race in your community, state, or in the country. As students complete research, ask them to share their findings in a multimedia presentation using a tool like Sway, reviewed here, to add graphs, charts, images, and video that support their findings.

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Code Switch - National Public Radio (NPR)

Grades
9 to 12
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Code Switch is an NPR podcast featuring conversations about race that air several times each month. The podcast includes a wide variety of topics ranging from politics to sports and...more
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Code Switch is an NPR podcast featuring conversations about race that air several times each month. The podcast includes a wide variety of topics ranging from politics to sports and much more. The podcast hosts include award-winning journalists from a variety of races to share their perspectives on current issues. Podcasts range in length from approximately 20 minutes to just under one hour. Each podcast link includes a transcript, download link, and embed code.

tag(s): black history (79), character education (68), difficult conversations (37), native americans (86), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Include this podcast as a resource for lessons on racism, bias, or when facing difficult conversations in the classroom. Be sure to sign up to listen to the newest podcasts on your favorite resource and scroll through the archives to find relevant recordings beginning in 2016. As students listen to podcasts, use Google Slides, reviewed here, to create a reflective document for students to share important information from the podcast along with any questions or information for further research. Use the podcasts as a model for students to create their own podcasts on any topic. Search ReadWriteThink, reviewed here, to find many tools to help students develop interesting podcasts including rubrics, podcast tutorials, and a lesson plan for teaching with podcasts. When students are ready to record and share their podcasts, Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is a free podcasting tool that provides options for scheduling broadcasts, adding chapters, and much more.

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Antiracism/Diversity Bookroom - unknown

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K to 6
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This Google Slide presentation features an online bookroom with shelves full of links to YouTube video readings of books featuring Black characters. Click on any book to view the YouTube...more
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This Google Slide presentation features an online bookroom with shelves full of links to YouTube video readings of books featuring Black characters. Click on any book to view the YouTube recording, some created by the author and illustrator. Make sure to click on other objects in the room, including the picture frames, pillow on the chair, and the poster to view additional videos, including a master class featuring Maya Angelou. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): black history (79), book lists (133), civil rights (142), identity (21), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Include this slide with your other resources used when teaching racism or discussing self-identity. Share a link with students to use as part of a reading center to offer various read-alouds during center time. For younger students, use Symbaloo, reviewed here, as a bookmarking tool to share other videos, books, and activities as part of your unit on racism or bias. Include videos and books from this presentation as part of a learning unit created using TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here. Add quizzes, videos, documents, and more to create digital lessons that easily adapt to any student's ability levels. Use this presentation as a model to create an interactive bookroom using books, videos, and additional materials of your choosing. Use The Brown Bookshelf, reviewed here, as an excellent starting point to find additional books featuring Black voices.

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Design for Change USA - Design for Change

Grades
K to 8
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Design for Change uses a virtual platform to engage students and build social awareness through activities that critically look at themes. Create an account to view your dashboard and...more
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Design for Change uses a virtual platform to engage students and build social awareness through activities that critically look at themes. Create an account to view your dashboard and options found on the site. Content is based upon three themes - Racial Injustice, Educational Equity, and Climate Action and is delivered in a content framework of feel, imagine, do, and share. Lessons begin with an empathy warmup podcast. The following steps engage students in understanding the problem of each theme before developing suggested solutions. Download educator toolkits for all activities found using your account dashboard.

tag(s): character education (68), climate (95), climate change (71), empathy (24), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Bookmark activities and podcasts shared in this site to use when teaching about racial bias, empathy, and climate. Download the educator's toolkit to use as an excellent resource for graphic organizers for students to organize information and plan action steps for multiple different uses. As a culminating activity, engage learners to share their ideas by creating digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here. Have students create books that include images, videos, and written text that share their ideas on steps to take to address social issues.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Making it Meaningful: Interrupting Biased Comments in the Classroom - Rosalind Wiseman

Grades
K to 12
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How do you address racially insensitive, homophobic, or other biased comments in your classroom? This article shares tips for handling these comments through immediate responses that...more
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How do you address racially insensitive, homophobic, or other biased comments in your classroom? This article shares tips for handling these comments through immediate responses that turn into teachable moments. Whether you only have time for a quick response, or if you have time for a more meaningful lesson, these ideas provide opportunities to turn the comments into moments for reflection and change.

tag(s): bullying (56), character education (68), difficult conversations (37), empathy (24), identity (21), racism (58)

In the Classroom

All classrooms face difficult conversations at some point; bookmark this article to use as inspiration on how to address those moments and help students understand and develop empathy for others. Even if you don't have time for an extended lesson, encourage students to think beyond the moment by creating a Padlet, reviewed here, that curates and shares resources based upon your conversation. For example, one topic discussed in the article is "bonding" teasing and "annoying" teasing. Ask students to share examples of teasing in a Padlet that has columns for each form discussed. Use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a platform for discussing difficult moments and ask students to share ways to handle biased or insensitive comments.

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Talking to White Kids About Race & Racism - Safe Space Radio

Grades
K to 12
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This hour-long radio program explores how to discuss race and racism with kids of any age through the lens of white parents and students. The radio program provides specific examples...more
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This hour-long radio program explores how to discuss race and racism with kids of any age through the lens of white parents and students. The radio program provides specific examples of how to expose children to people of all races, address children's' questions about race, and tips on how to be aware of situations that provide opportunities to discuss race and racism. In addition to the radio program, the site also includes two PDF documents. The first contains strategies for talking to white kids about racism; the other is a discussion guide with general questions and questions to use with each session segment.

tag(s): character education (68), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Use this radio broadcast as a resource for addressing racism both in the classroom and at home. The program includes short segments with different guests, use the segments to divide information into smaller topics and big ideas. Share a segment with parents along with guiding questions found in the discussion guide and encourage them to use this information to address race in their home as you also address these ideas at school. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to curate and share additional resources for families. As students reflect upon the questions and discussions, have them use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics with their ideas for addressing issues of race and racism. Use Google Drawings, reviewed here, as an alternative for younger students to create and share their thoughts through original drawings.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Say Their Names - Chicago Public Schools

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K to 12
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This Google document shares strategies and suggestions to help parents and educators discuss race, racism, racial violence, bias, and racial justice. The document includes recommendations...more
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This Google document shares strategies and suggestions to help parents and educators discuss race, racism, racial violence, bias, and racial justice. The document includes recommendations and links to resources on how to start difficult conversations, where to find resources, mental health resources, and how to teach students to understand and evaluate information found in the media. Be sure to check back often; this document updates on an ongoing basis.

tag(s): civil rights (142), courts (22), politics (105), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this document as a guide to discussing racism in the classroom and as a link to many additional materials. Organize your resources using a curation tool such as Padlet, reviewed here. Use the shelf option in Padlet to create columns to organize information. For example, create columns to sort materials by grade levels or by type of content. As you teach lessons, use a mind mapping tool like Coggle, reviewed here to organize and share complex information. Extend learning using Biteable, reviewed here to create student-produced explainer videos sharing their ideas on addressing racism, media literacy strategies, or steps to help others through difficult times.

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Black Illustrations - John D. Saunders

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K to 12
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This collection, created by a black web designer, includes over forty images of people of color for use with any digital project. They include a diverse selection of skin colors, ...more
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This collection, created by a black web designer, includes over forty images of people of color for use with any digital project. They include a diverse selection of skin colors, body types, and hairstyles to represent a broad spectrum of black images. In addition to individual images, this pack includes pre-made office and medical scenes. The downloaded contents consist of images in a variety of formats, including PNG, JPG, and others.

tag(s): clip art (10), images (274), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Use images from this collection with any digital projects, and be sure to share with students to use with their digital work. These images are perfect to use with any projects that involve discussions and presentations on racism. Use images in a variety of ways such as to include in explainer videos created with Adobe Spark Video Creator, reviewed here, in digital books made with Book Creator, reviewed here, and in multimedia presentations made with Sway, reviewed here.

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Safe@School - Lesson Plans and Toolkits - USC Rossier

Grades
K to 12
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USC Rossier's online master's in school counseling program provides this extensive collection of resources for helping you to facilitate discussions about race, racism, and diversity...more
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USC Rossier's online master's in school counseling program provides this extensive collection of resources for helping you to facilitate discussions about race, racism, and diversity with students of all ages. Some of the resources are lesson plans, glossaries, toolkits, and others are activities. You don't have to pursue a master's in counseling to use these resources.

tag(s): african american (104), hispanic (15), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Use these resources throughout the school year, and especially during difficult conversations, including those about racism, come up in class. Review these resources to prepare yourself for spontaneous discussions about race and differences. You may want to start the school year with "Claim It! Creating a Climate of Inclusion Lesson Plan," or skim through the list of resources to find one that will fit your lesson and students.

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Anti-Racism For Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race - Books for Littles

Grades
K to 5
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Discover several recommended books for beginning conversations with children about race and racism. Share these books that show how people of color are not single-faceted: they are...more
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Discover several recommended books for beginning conversations with children about race and racism. Share these books that show how people of color are not single-faceted: they are individuals whose ethnic heritage is something valuable to explore, and their ancestors' traditions, achievements, and challenges impact who they are today. Some books will help explain to children how cultural diversity makes us stronger. Other book collections on this site include Inclusive Body-Positive Kids, Waaay Before We Talk About Sex: Kids Books for Squeamish Parents, Diverse Family Constellations in Kids Books, and Immigrants Belong Here: Books to Help Kids Advocate for Human Rights. There are other "difficult" conversation collections on this site, too.
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tag(s): african american (104), hispanic (15), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Though this site is affiliated with places to buy books i.e., Amazon, you can also find these books at your public library. An alternative would be to consider a "Wish List," either online with Amazon or publish it in your newsletter that goes home to parents and that you can mention at back-to-school night.

After reading the book to the class or a small group, ask students to think about what the author was trying to tell the students about the topic (diversity, etc.). Ask for volunteers to answer. Remind students to be respectful of others' opinions during an open discussion. Use the books suggested on this site to start a discussion as to why the topic is important. After this discussion you may want to use Flipgrid, reviewed here, to have students consolidate their learning by stating what they learned from the book and possibly replying to another classmate's response to the book.

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Teaching About Race and Racism: Lesson Plans Resources - ShareMyLesson

Grades
K to 12
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Curated by ShareMyLesson, find a substantial collection of PreK-12 lesson plans, activities, and resources to help students critically address the issues of race and racism. Racism...more
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Curated by ShareMyLesson, find a substantial collection of PreK-12 lesson plans, activities, and resources to help students critically address the issues of race and racism. Racism Lesson Plans are in categories: Black Lives Matter and George Floyd (which has an anti-racist reading list for children and adults), Professional Development, and General Racism Lesson Plans and Resources. The latter includes lessons about talking with children about race, stereotyping, white supremacy, segregation, lynchings, anti-Semitism, and too many more to name here. Other categories include Lesson Plans: Stereotyping, Racial Profiling, and Related Collections. ShareMyLesson has put together such a rich collection that you won't need to look anywhere else.

tag(s): african american (104), black history (79), hispanic (15), jews (27), racism (58), segregation (17)

In the Classroom

Before sharing this site with students, find a lesson to use as an introduction. Then, show the lesson and its resources on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector, explaining to students all the parts of the lesson as you proceed through it. After this first lesson, enhance student learning by allowing them to choose what lesson or resource they would like to investigate next. Ask students to use Padlet, reviewed here, to register their preference for investigation. If more than one student is interested in the same lesson/resource, allow them to work together. Challenge students to share their extended learning with their peers in a multimedia presentation using Genial.ly, reviewed here, or Sway, reviewed here. Both Sway and Genial.ly will allow your students to create multimedia projects. With Genial.ly you could allow students to choose the type of interactive media they want to develop.

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Talking About Race and Privilege: Lesson Plan for Middle and High School Students - National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson plan guides students toward defining the concept of "privilege" and to identify examples of "privilege" in their lives. The lesson begins with using the Webster's Dictionary...more
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This lesson plan guides students toward defining the concept of "privilege" and to identify examples of "privilege" in their lives. The lesson begins with using the Webster's Dictionary definition of "privilege" and then leads to historical perspectives on "privilege" related to race in the United States. Another component of the lesson is the use of the Privilege Aptitude Test adapted from the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel with follow-up reflection questions. Use the link to print or download the lesson in PDF format.

tag(s): civil rights (142), psychology (66), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Include this lesson plan with your other resources when teaching lessons on racism and social injustice, either in-person or through remote or blended learning situations. Instead of using paper charts as mentioned in the lesson, use a digital chart creation resource such as Lucidchart, reviewed here, to create collaborative digital workspaces. Lucidchart includes several features that expand learning through the use of commenting, real-time collaboration, and colorful visual displays. Guide students in how to think through reflection questions using topics available in Thinkalong, reviewed here. Thinkalong offers an interactive multimedia format that guides students through investigations that lead them to contemplate possible solutions to serious problems.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teaching 'The New Jim Crow' - Tolerance.org

Grades
9 to 12
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Teach the lessons of race and justice in society using the book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, as a resource. The ten lesson unit ...more
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Teach the lessons of race and justice in society using the book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, as a resource. The ten lesson unit includes a Teacher's Guide that provides chronological lessons, activities, and audiovisual resources appropriate for Social Studies, Language Arts, and American History courses. All materials align with Common Core Standards. Additional information found on this site includes a conversation with the book's author, Michelle Alexander, and two webinars that discuss the book and suggestions to support using the book in high school classrooms.

tag(s): civil rights (142), courts (22), politics (105), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Incorporate this free unit as a guide to teaching the sensitive topics of race and justice with or without using the novel. As you begin your unit, use AnswerGarden, reviewed here, as an anonymous brainstorming and response tool. Use AnswerGarden by forming open-ended questions such as "The hard part of talking about racism is..." or "The beneficial part of talking about racism is..." as a way to elicit student ideas without students being concerned about sharing ideas orally with their peers. Use AnswerGarden in various ways throughout the unit to gauge student ideas and responses to lesson topics. All of the lessons include essential questions and big ideas, use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a collaborative tool to encourage student conversations through Flipgrid's video response options. Extend learning using podcasts as a format for students to share their learning about race and our justice system. For example, Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is a podcasting tool to create weekly podcasts created by students to discuss different components of race relations and the justice system. Another option to consider using is Synth, reviewed here, to create bite-sized audio podcasts discussing each lesson's issues. Use Synth to record short audio recordings of up to 256 seconds that thread together to form a podcast.

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Reading Treks: American Born Chinese - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 12
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TeachersFirst Reading Treks create a virtual field trip of resources about a piece of literature or text using the My Maps feature of Google Maps. This Reading Trek provides inspiration...more
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TeachersFirst Reading Treks create a virtual field trip of resources about a piece of literature or text using the My Maps feature of Google Maps. This Reading Trek provides inspiration and suggestions for using the trade book, American Born Chinese. American Born Chinese recounts the tale of three characters: Jin Wang, who moves to another area with his family to find that he's the only Chinese-American at his new school; the Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest Chinese tales; and Chin-Kee, who is typical of the negative Chinese stereotype and is destroying his cousin Danny's life. Their lives and stories meet up with an unforeseen turn in this current tale. Discover their journey to their identity and purpose in life while struggling with others' prejudices, especially how it applies to racism. Use our robust Instructional Guide with students in grades 7-12. Content correlates to Common Core Standards, ISTE Student Standards, National Core Arts Standards for Visual Arts, and National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. Find the entire selection of Reading Treks here.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (150), identity (21), racism (58), virtual field trips (77)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many suggested classroom uses for this resource found on the Instructional Guide (PDF). Consider using the historical information and primary sources from the book to have students research places and events discussed in the book to create interactive timelines. Find a variety of free online timeline creation tools at located here. Using the map and locales, trace and then calculate distances for some of the locations shared. Use Google My Maps, reviewed here to create and share custom maps.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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